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Car Explosion Kills 2 in Jerusalem

By VOA News

A car bomb explosion in Jerusalem has killed two - a man who was in the car and a police officer. The car was blown apart as an Israeli policeman went to check it at a roadblock between Jerusalem's eastern and western sections. The Al Aqsa Brigades, a splinter group of Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat's Fatah movement, has claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Israel Widens Offensive in West Bank

By VOA News

Israeli forces have intensified their offensive in the West Bank, sending tanks and troops into more Palestinian towns in a hunt for Palestinian militants. Palestinian sources said Israeli tanks moved into the northern town of Tulkarm after re-occupying Qalqilya late Sunday. Israeli tanks are also massed on the edge of Bethlehem after briefly entering part of the town early Monday.

Witnesses said Israeli troops shot and wounded seven foreign peace activists and a Palestinian TV cameraman in the re-occupied West Bank town of Beit Jala Monday. Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat remained trapped inside his West Bank headquarters in Ramallah Monday, surrounded by Israeli forces that took up positions inside his compound. A number of explosions were heard near the compound. The Israeli army said eight Israeli soldiers were wounded and at least 500 Palestinians rounded up during house-to-house searches in Ramallah aimed at flushing out militants.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon declared Sunday that Israel was at war against terrorism and asserted that Arafat was directing that terror. Sharon spoke after two suicide bombings killed at least 15 Israelis and wounded scores of others. Palestinian militants have carried out five suicide bombings against Israeli civilians since Wednesday.

Israeli forces assaulted Arafat's compound early Friday in a move Israeli officials said was aimed at isolating the Palestinian leader and rooting out terrorists.

President Bush urged Arafat to put an end to suicide bomb attacks against Israelis. Bush said suicide bombing in the name of religion is simply terror. He said the civilized world must band together to stop this kind of activity.

In remarks at the White House, Bush appealed again to Arafat to denounce terrorism, and get started on the plan put forward by CIA Director George Tenet for achieving a ceasefire with Israel. He said it also was important for Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to keep the pathway to peace open.

Arafat's Counterfeiting Operation


Above and beyond the large arms caches found in Yasir Arafat's Mukata compound in Ramallah, Israeli officials said that the headquarters served as the heart of a secret Palestinian operation to flood Israel with counterfeit money.

So reported Michael Widlansky of An Israeli army officer said that the phoney money operation could have had far-reaching consequences including undermining the already-weakened Israeli economy and helping Arafat pay the salaries of terrorists.

"There were hundreds of thousands of shekels along with the printing plates to produce millions of more shekels," said an Israeli army officer. IDF units seized the fake Israeli bills in denominations of 50, 100 and 200 shekels.

Israel intelligence suspects that Arafat also had printing plates for counterfeiting American currency, but these have not yet been discovered. Israeli and Western intelligence officials have long suspected that Arafat might have a counterfeit money operation, like the one he maintained in Lebanon during parts of the 1970s and early 1980s.

Anti-Jewish Attacks in France Increasing

By Lisa Bryant (VOA-Paris)

A new wave of anti-Jewish attacks has hit France in recent days, including the destruction of a synagogue in Marseilles Sunday night. French leaders have vowed to find those responsible.

Few dispute that the dozens of anti-Jewish attacks here over the past 18 months mirror the rising tide of violence in the Middle East. France is home to about 650,000 Jews and five million Muslims - the largest population of both faiths in Western Europe.

A March report, co-authored by an anti-racist group and a Jewish student organization, documented 405 anti-Jewish acts in France since September 2000, when the new round of Palestinian-Israeli clashes began.

There were more incidents in the past two days. Synagogues in Strasbourg and Lyon were attacked on Saturday, along with a Jewish butcher shop outside another French city, Toulouse. And finally, late Sunday, a synagogue in Marseilles was burned to the ground. In neighboring Belgium, a Molotov cocktail partly destroyed a Brussels synagogue.

Porno Film Production Quashed at Terezin


Until recently, Terezin, which Germany promoted as a "model" camp, which it called Thererienstadt, was to have been the set for a Czech pornographic film. However, Czech officials have banned the use of video cameras at the site where 100,000 Jewish children died during World War II.

Last week, a Czech newspaper, Super, reported that the film, whose working title is "How it Was," starring Czech porn star Robert Rosenberg, would relate the story of how women at the camp were raped by the Nazis. However, various scenes from the movie have already been filmed at the transit camp.

The tabloid quoted Rosenberg, 27, as saying there would not be any erotic scenes shot inside the former camp."Terezin will not have anything to do with erotica, we don't want to treat the victims of the war with disrespect," he told the newspaper.

The chairman of Prague's Jewish community, Tomas Jelinek, condemned the film: "This is unbelievable, given the significance that Terezin has for the Jewish people. It gives" the former camp a "completely different connotation to what it should have."

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